Mother tongue will guide you home by song
~ Lorna Munro from 'yilaalu-bu-gadi-(once-upon-a-time-in-the-bay-gadi)'
Created by poet Lorna Munro, Yala Gari (Speak the Truth) was a language program designed to strengthen cultural connection.
Students from Redfern and Sydney City communities were empowered to create, perform and publish poetry that celebrates first nation cultures and languages (including Wiradjuri, Gamilaroi, Ngiyampaa, Yuin, and Sydney Languages).
Through a series of poet-in-residence programs in schools, Yala Gari strengthens awareness of, and respect for, first languages and cultural connections by engaging poets, artists, students, their families, and communities around Redfern, Waterloo and Alexandria.
As part of Red Room Poetry's Poetic Moments, poems from Lorna and the students were published on City of Sydney street banners during NAIDOC Week (2-9 July) to celebrate the 2017 theme 'Our Languages Matter'. The banners were designed by Yuwaalaraay visual artist Lucy Simpson (under the label Gaawaa Miyay).
Yala Gari 2017
After a successful pilot, Yala Gari 2017, continued with a 10 week program at Alexandria Park Community School and Green Sqaure School. The program was run by proud Wiradjuri poet and performer Lorna Munro in collaboration with NASCA.
"The opportunity to be part of Yala Gari, working with Indigenous poets and artists to build language skills, and encourage pride in Indigenous culture, is of enormous benefit to our students and wider school community.”